Sonnets with Two Torches and One Cliff (Carnegie Mellon University Press Poetry Series ) (Paperback)
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A fresh and modern take on one of the most classic poetic forms in the Western literary tradition.
“What if creatures in other galaxies / have a vague sense that something is missing, / but don’t know it’s Little Richard, Shakespeare, / and cornbread with plum jam?” In this collection, Robert Thomas presents eighty nontraditional sonnets that explore love and jealousy—the traditional obsessions of sonnets—from nontraditional angles. Other galaxies are jealous of Earth in these heartbreaking, funny, ecstatic, profound, and never boring poems.
About the Author
Robert Thomas’s novella Bridge received the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction. His first poetry collection, Door to Door, was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the Poets Out Loud Prize, and his second, Dragging the Lake, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has received an NEA Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, and he lives with his wife in Oakland, California.
"A formally constrained poem that brilliantly manages to sound anything but. A paean to longing, to the mysteries of love and time and distance, 'Negligee and Hatchet,' as its title suggests, is full of contraries and surprises—swamp pop and Mick Jagger, grotto and tomb, Aphrodite and caramel corn . . . the poet’s language turns and dazzles with every line."
— Kim Addonizio
"Irrepressible, seemingly inexhaustible in invention, this exhilarating poetic tour-de-force demonstrates that if you couple things that don’t go together at all, the sparks of their friction can set the mind on fire. Every sonnet night-dives off a different cliff, torches in hand––one more brilliant, observant, sardonic, intimate, provocative, hilariously meek, than the next; each a metaphoric misalliance creating fresh discoveries, including the infinite ways in which 'no one is ever loved as they deserve.'"
— Eleanor Wilner